Stacey Abrams says Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Democrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) has been "relentless but thoughtful" as he's tried to persuade the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate to run for Senate next year against incumbent Sen. David Perdue (R).
“He has been relentless but thoughtful, and I mean it in this way: He has asked me what I need to see,” Abrams told BuzzFeed in an interview published Friday. “He's answered the questions that I have about the role, about how I would fit into a Senate, whether it’s the majority or the minority.”
Abrams said she believes Democrats will win back the chamber in the 2020 election and that Schumer, who is expected to be majority leader if his party wins control, has been "very creative about ways that I can add to the body politic, should I be in the office. But he also said, you know, ‘The timetable is yours.’ ”
The Georgia Democrat narrowly lost her bid to be governor last year, falling to Republican Brian Kemp in a race that sparked lawsuits and accusations of voter suppression against Kemp, who at the time was Georgia's secretary of state.
But she would be a top recruit to take on Perdue, who is running for his second term next year, if Democrats can persuade her to run for the Senate instead of launching a national campaign in 2020 amid a crowded presidential primary field.
Schumer praised Abrams during a press conference with reporters Thursday in the Capitol, saying that he thinks she would be "a great, great senator."
"I’ve told her I think she could play a major role in the Senate the minute she got here," he added.
Schumer and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Sunday shows preview: Pelosi announces date for infrastructure vote; administration defends immigration policies GOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation MORE (D-Calif.) previously invited Abrams to deliver the Democratic response to President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE's State of the Union address earlier this year. Schumer added Thursday that he thought she "knocked it out of the park" and that there was still time for her to enter the Senate race.
Abrams told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier this month that she was "truly" thinking about running for president in 2020 but that she needed to first decide if she was going to jump into the Senate race.
She added that she wanted to make a decision on whether or not to run for Senate by the end of April.
Democrats hold 47 seats in the Senate heading into the 2020 election, meaning they would need to flip four seats to win back control of the chamber outright. They would also need to hold onto Democratic Sen. Doug Jones's seat in the deeply red state of Alabama or pick up an additional GOP seat.
Jones, who was elected in 2017 during a special election to fill out the remainder of former Sen. Jeff Session's (R-Ala.) term, is viewed as the most vulnerable Democratic senator running next year.
GOP Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (N.C.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsLooking to the past to secure America's clean energy future Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike MORE (Maine), Cory GardnerCory GardnerProtecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program MORE (Colo.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates Bipartisan momentum builds for war on terror memorial GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization MORE (Iowa) and Perdue are viewed as top targets for Democrats next year.